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Best Movies Set in Oregon

Every state is known for something. As you work your way through the list, don’t miss the best movies set in Oregon. While you’re at it, check out the best books set in Oregon, too.

Portland, Oregon, USA downtown

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, with the Columbia River delineating much of Oregon’s northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho.

What themes are in Movies Set in Oregon?

Movies set in Oregon often explore a variety of themes, as is the case with films set in any location. Some common themes that can be found in movies set in Oregon include:

1. Nature and Environment: Oregon’s diverse and picturesque landscapes, including its forests, mountains, and coastline, often play a prominent role in films set in the state. Themes related to nature, conservation, and the relationship between humans and the environment are common.

2. Small Town Life: Many Oregon-set films depict the charm and challenges of small-town life, exploring themes of community, isolation, and the dynamics of living in close-knit communities.

3. Family and Relationships: Family dynamics and interpersonal relationships are central themes in numerous Oregon-based movies. These films may delve into themes of love, conflict, and personal growth within the context of family and friendships.

4. Coming of Age: Some Oregon movies focus on the coming-of-age experiences of their characters, often set against the backdrop of the state’s unique landscapes and communities.

5. Social and Cultural Issues: Like any location, Oregon has its own social and cultural issues. Films set in the state may tackle themes such as social justice, identity, diversity, and the challenges faced by different communities within Oregon.

6. Quirkiness and Unconventionality: Oregon is known for its quirkiness and unconventional aspects, and this is often reflected in movies set in the state. Themes related to eccentricity, counterculture, and individuality are explored in such films.

7. Adventure and Exploration: Oregon’s natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities provide a backdrop for adventure-themed movies. Exploration, self-discovery, and the call of the wild are common themes.

8. History and Nostalgia: Some films set in Oregon delve into the state’s history and evoke a sense of nostalgia, exploring themes of the past, memory, and tradition.

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9. Economic Struggles and Change: Movies set in Oregon may also examine economic challenges faced by communities, including issues related to industry, employment, and economic change.

10. Supernatural and Science Fiction: Oregon has been the setting for several science fiction and supernatural-themed movies. Themes of the unexplained, paranormal, and extraterrestrial encounters are explored in some of these films.

It’s important to note that not all films set in Oregon will explore these themes, and the specific themes addressed in a movie will depend on the storyline and the intentions of the filmmakers. Oregon’s varied landscapes and communities provide a rich backdrop for a wide range of storytelling possibilities.

How to Create a State Unit Study for Oregon

Creating a state unit study for Oregon can be an engaging and educational project, whether you’re a homeschooling parent or a teacher looking to enhance your students’ understanding of the state. A unit study typically involves a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating various subjects such as history, geography, science, and more. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create a comprehensive state unit study for Oregon:

1. Define Your Goals and Objectives:

  • Determine the age or grade level of your students.
  • Set clear objectives for what you want them to learn about Oregon.

2. Gather Resources:

  • Collect books, websites, documentaries, and other educational materials about Oregon.
  • Identify local resources such as museums, historical sites, and experts who can help with your study.

3. Choose Key Topics:

  • Select specific topics that you want to cover in your unit study. Common topics for an Oregon unit study might include Oregon history, geography, wildlife, Native American culture, and famous landmarks.

4. Create a Lesson Plan:

  • Organize your study into a structured lesson plan with a sequence of activities and topics to be covered over a set period.
  • Decide how often you’ll conduct lessons and for how long each session will last.

5. Oregon History:

  • Explore the history of Oregon, including its Native American tribes, early explorers, Lewis and Clark’s expedition, the Oregon Trail, and the state’s role in the Western expansion.
  • Discuss significant historical events, such as the Oregon Trail migration, the Oregon Trail pioneers, and the Oregon Trail’s impact on the state’s development.

6. Geography and Landforms:

  • Study Oregon’s geography, including its diverse landscapes, natural features, and regions.
  • Incorporate map reading and map-making activities, highlighting Oregon’s mountains, rivers, forests, and coast.

7. Native American Culture:

  • Learn about the Native American tribes that historically inhabited and continue to live in Oregon.
  • Explore their culture, traditions, art, and contributions to the state.

8. Wildlife and Environment:

  • Discuss the unique flora and fauna of Oregon, including the state’s national parks and wildlife reserves.
  • Conduct nature walks or hikes to observe local wildlife and ecosystems.
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9. Famous Landmarks and Sites:

  • Explore Oregon’s iconic landmarks, such as Crater Lake, Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, and the Oregon Coast.
  • Create projects or presentations about these sites.

10. Art, Music, and Culture:

  • Integrate Oregon’s cultural elements, including its art, music, and cuisine, into your study.
  • Engage in hands-on activities like cooking regional dishes or creating art inspired by the state’s landscapes.

11. Local Field Trips:

  • Plan field trips to local museums, historical sites, and nature reserves.
  • Engage with experts and local residents to enhance the learning experience.

12. Hands-On Projects:

  • Encourage students to complete hands-on projects, such as creating a timeline of Oregon history, constructing a diorama of a famous Oregon location, or writing a report about a notable Oregonian.

13. Assess and Review:

  • Regularly assess your students’ understanding of the material and review as needed.
  • Provide opportunities for students to showcase what they’ve learned, such as presentations or exhibitions.

14. Culminating Activity:

  • Conclude your unit study with a culminating activity or project, such as a group presentation, a class exhibit, or a written report.

15. Reflect and Evaluate:

  • After completing the unit study, take time to reflect on the experience and evaluate its success. Gather feedback from your students to make improvements for future unit studies.

Remember to adapt the unit study to your students’ needs and interests, and be open to exploring additional topics that may arise during your study of Oregon. Making the unit study interactive and hands-on will help engage students and make learning about Oregon a memorable experience.

Best Movies Set in Oregon

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, William Redfield (Actors)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Year: 1975

When Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) gets transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution, he assumes it will be a less restrictive environment. But the martinet Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) runs the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, keeping her patients cowed through abuse, medication and sessions of electroconvulsive therapy.

The battle of wills between the rebellious McMurphy and the inflexible Ratched soon affects all the ward’s patients.

Kindergarten Cop
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Linda Hunt (Actors)

Kindergarten Cop

Year: 1990

In this action-comedy, unusual circumstances find big, brawny cop John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) posing as a kindergarten teacher in order to apprehend major drug lord Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson), as well as his ruthless accomplice and mother, Eleanor (Carroll Baker).

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While pretending to be a kid-friendly instructor, Kimble falls for pretty fellow teacher Joyce Palmieri (Penelope Ann Miller) as he battles both unruly children and dangerous bad guys.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders (Actors)


Year: 2009

While exploring her new home, a girl named Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a secret door behind which lies an alternate world that closely mirrors her own but, in many ways, is better. She rejoices in her discovery until Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) and the rest of her parallel family try to keep her there forever.

Coraline must use all her resources and bravery to return to her own family and life.

Mr Brooks
  • French (Subtitle)
  • French (Publication Language)

Mr. Brooks

Year: 2007

Well-respected businessman Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner) has a secret: Under his family-man facade lurks a murderous alter-ego named Marshall (William Hurt). Brooks struggles with his addiction to killing, but Marshall enjoys his grisly hobby too much to let go.

Finally, Brooks resolves to commit one final murder, but a voyeur (Dane Cook) witnesses it and blackmails him to continue. With a detective (Demi Moore) hot on his trail, Brooks/Marshall must spin an increasingly elaborate web.

Stand by Me
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman (Actors)

Stand by Me

Year: 1986

Over a long holiday weekend in 1959, four boys who are inseparable friends set out to find a dead body deep in the woods that they have heard rumors about. Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, and Kiefer Sutherland star in this classic drama.

Now that you’ve completed the list of best movies set in this state, why not check out some others? Here are the Best Movies Set in All 50 States.


Click here to download this printable. It has a list of movies in all 50 states, including the Best Movies Set in Oregon.

printable mock-up image of Movies Set in all 50 states

Further Reading About the State:

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